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Volleyball: Ontonagon tops Lakes, 3-1

Lake Linden-Hubbell’s Melissa Wagner hits the ball against Ontonagon on Thursday in Lake Linden. (Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette)

LAKE LINDEN — Despite winning the first set Thursday night, the Lake Linden-Hubbell Lakes struggled to keep pace with the Ontonagon Gladiators, who won the match 3-1.

The Gladiators (5-2) won by scores 19-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-18

“We had one goal tonight and that was to win one set,” said Lakes head coach Ellen Jarvis. “And we got that done.”

Jarvis, in her first year at the helm, said she sees this as a rebuilding year for the Lakes volleyball squad. They lost a number of key seniors to graduation a year ago. Thursday’s first-set win was just their third set victory this season.

Lakes senior Abby Beaudoin kicked off the first set with two aces to put the Lakes up 3-1. Sophomore Brooke Banfield also had a strong run of four from midway through to put the Lakes up 22-13 and on their way to a 25-19 win.

“We were flat in the first set,” said Ontonagon head coach Kaci Lundin. “It seemed like we were still on the bus in the first game.”

However, Ontonagon got off the bus in the second set and started to move their feet according to Lundin. The Gladiators pushed out to a 12 -10 lead only to be tied four times with the Lakes. Both teams showed stamina and resilience with many good volleys throughout the set. With Katie Fredrikson at the at the service line, the Gladiators put space between themselves and the Lakes and taking the set 23-18.

“I think our girls got nervous stopped talking and allowed a lot of balls to drop,” Jarvis said. “(Ontonagon) kept us on our toes and things got frantic. We were always playing catch up.”

The Gladiators momentum continued into the third as senior Ella Menigoz putting together a service run of six straight to start off the game and put a 9-1 lead on the board. Lundin said it was their best set of the night.

“We were able to play our volleyball,” she said. “We usually get a lead, and then we let it slip away but not tonight. We were able to try out some new configurations, some different plays, and it worked. I was very pleased with the girls effort tonight.”

The fourth set looked like the third for Ontonagon. This time it was senior Nicole Lukkari who served up a run of five to put the Gladiators up 7-2 at the start. While the Lakes had a big hit and side out, they didn’t put more than three or four points together. The Gladiators kept them at bay with a lead of four or five points. Despite the defeat, Jarvis said not all was lost.

“I liked the hustle of the girls,” Jarvis said. “We had set good passing, good dig and some nice setups.”

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